Southwest Border: More Timely Border Patrol Access and Training Could Improve Security Operations and Natural Resource Protection on Federal Lands, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 6MB]
"Over the last 5 years, Border Patrol has nearly doubled the number of its agents on patrol, constructed hundreds of miles of border fence, and installed surveillance equipment on and near lands managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture along the southwestern border. In so doing, the agency has had to comply with federal land management laws, and some have expressed concern that these laws may limit agents' abilities to detect and apprehend undocumented aliens. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to examine (1) key land management laws Border Patrol operates under and how it and land management agencies coordinate their responsibilities under these laws; (2) how Border Patrol operations are affected by these laws; and (3) the extent to which land management agencies collect and use data related to the environmental effects of illegal activities, such as human trafficking and drug smuggling. GAO reviewed key land management laws, interviewed agents-in-charge at 26 Border Patrol stations responsible for patrolling federal southwest borderlands, and interviewed managers of these lands. GAO recommends, among other things, that the Secretaries of Homeland Security, the Interior, and Agriculture take steps to help Border Patrol expedite access to portions of federal lands by more quickly initiating required assessments. In commenting on a draft of this report, the agencies generally agreed with GAO's findings and recommendations."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov